Monday, December 22, 2008

Boo, Birds

There is an expression reserved for a rare group of people that are incorrigibly stubborn, and stubbornly incorrigible:

They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

And so it was with the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend. Given early Christmas presents by both Dallas and Tampa Bay, the Birds went into their 4:15 showdown with Washington finally, miraculously, in control of their own destiny. In games where the score is as close as it was yesterday, it's usually pretty easy to figure out who the goat is. Yesterday, that was not the case. Yesterday, losing was a team effort.

The defense, as it's been pretty much all year, was strong. I appreciate that half of the team actually showed up and did its job. For everyone else, there's plenty of blame to go around. So get ready, cause here it comes.

Boo on Andy Reid. How is it that you still don't know how to manage the clock and playcalling? 55 seconds into the second half, looking like they didn't know what game they were playing, Reid calls a timeout. I just knew somehow that was going to come back and bite us, and I said so at the time. You think that might have been helpful after Reggie Brown's catch on the 1? Yeah, I do too.

And another boo for Andy, from the department of If It Ain't Broke, Break It Til It Is. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I think it's taking it to a new level when you've done something over and over and failed, changed it up to terrific results, and then reverted back to what was a miserable failure. 46 pass attempts, 16 runs. That's almost 3 out of 4 plays. And that's just ridiculous, regardless of Westbrook's health.

Boo on DeSean Jackson. 4 drops. 2 of them deep, one in the end zone. You wanted the spotlight. You wanted the ball. Both were given to you, and you dropped them both.

Boo on LJ Smith, for dropping two dump-off passes that I could've caught, as well as for missing that crucial block on the pass to Westbrook at the Redskin 4 that should have been a touchdown. It was a bad playcall, but it would've been fine if you hit your man. LJ, your team, coaching staff, and fans, all stuck with you, wanting you to be what we all thought you could've been. Instead, 2008 was an enormous disappointment.

Boo on Donovan McNabb. I know some of you will disagree with this one, citing the seven (seven!!!) dropped passes, tossing away the "couple" of shorties thrown. But I disagree. I saw several horribly underthrown passes and several more thrown foolishly to covered, sometimes double-covered receivers. It's true that the WR corps didn't help him out, but he didn't help himself much either, and he was lucky not to be picked off. And would it kill you to run the ball and get a first down on 3rd and 3 when you have no one open? More importantly, Donovan, it's called urgency. Look into it.

And lastly, boo on Asante Samuel. Last week's interception runback against Cleveland was not an easy pick, requiring athleticism to even get a hand on the ball, much less catch it. Yet he made it look pretty easy. On 3rd and 10 from just about midfield, a pressured Jason Campbell floated a duck nowhere near his receivers, but right into the waiting arms of a Pro-Bowl cornerback. Who subsequently let it bounce off of his elbows. Possession near midfield might have been slightly more helpful than being downed at the 3.

The worst part? They're still alive. In the unlikely event that we beat Dallas, the Raiders upset the Bucs, and the Bears fall in Houston, we're in. They can't just put us out of our misery, can they.

As my friend Matt texted me yesterday,

Other Musings: I happened to look at the nutrition facts of a Dasani bottle of water the other day. As expected, everything was zero. Zero grams of fat, zero cholesterol, zero calories and, guess what, it's zero percent of the recommended daily value. It says "Percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie diet." No they're not. They're based on the fact that zero is zero percent of anything. How old were you when you learned that?

Flyers beat the Caps 7-1 on Saturday, behind a Scott Hartnell hat trick and two goals by Jeff Carter, who for the moment leads the league with 25 goals. This guy was almost dealt at last year's trade deadline. Good move keeping him, eh?

Lastly, -ability is spreading like a virus, like a cancer. The latest offender is of the repeat variety, now that Optimum is now advertising something about "knowability." Shoot me. I'll tell you one fact that's become highly knowable to myself: I know that pictures hold much more nicely to my fridge with my World Champions magnet.